One very important specification that you focus on when purchasing a laptop is its internal storage. Often you might get confused as to how much storage you will need for the laptop. Today, different brands of laptops and even different models of the same brand come with a different storage capacity that can be effectively utilized by you. You can store files in different formats at your convenience, and the size of these files can also be changed to save storage.
The more storage you look for in your laptop, the more money you will have to shell out. Let us understand the different amounts of storage you can get on your laptop. Read further to understand the different types of laptop storage, their uses, and how much storage you will require in your laptop.
Types Of Laptop Storage And Their Uses
There are different types of laptop storage and each of these has its own uses and benefits. These are mentioned below:
1. SSD (Solid State Drive) Storage
SSD is a reliable form of storage that is quick and stores all your data and programs efficiently and permanently in flash memory.
2. eMMC (Embedded Multi Media Card) Storage
Often eMMC storage is used as an alternative to SSD storage by some brands. An eMMC card cannot be upgraded later on because it is directly soldered onto the motherboard of the laptop. This type of storage finds its use primarily in tablets, phones, notebooks, and even smaller laptops. This kind of storage is suitable if you do not have to store a lot of large files. It is similar to SSD to an extent because it is also a type of flash storage.
3. HDD (Hard Disk Drive) Storage
Hard Disk Drive is typically associated with computer storage. When a Hard Disk Drive is used in a laptop, it slows down the laptop to an extent. HDD is primarily used as an external form of storage that can be connected to the laptop. But this is not suitable to be used in a laptop on a regular basis as the main storage option.
At times, some devices have a combination of two types of storage, SSD and HDD. This combines both types of storage and is beneficial as it gives a good speed that is a feature of the solid-state drive and also comes with a large storage capacity through the hard disk drive. SSHD storage is an example of this.
5. Cloud Storage
Some common examples of cloud storage are Google Drive and Dropbox. Using cloud storage for saving files, in turn, reduces the need for extra storage on your laptop.
Certain alternatives of storage also exist. Though not in much use now, USBs and Compact Disks are also alternatives to laptop storage. However, the use of Compact Disks has become irrelevant because they have very little space as per their size.
Laptop Storage And The Confusion Around It
There is often a lot of confusion about laptop storage and at the center of it is RAM. RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is the laptop’s short-term memory. Whenever a program is loaded, it gets moved from the storage of the laptop to the RAM which makes its accessibility easy and the program runs faster. RAM is, therefore, where the programs are temporarily stored in the laptop. It gets cleared when the laptop is turned off and nothing gets saved on it permanently.
When you are talking about the storage of the laptop, you are referring to the SSD. SSD stands for Solid State Drive and on this, all the programs as well as all files including the files are saved even when the laptop is shut down. On turning off the laptop, all the open programs get closed, and the SSD saves all files and programs even in the absence of power. SSD storage is the most common type of storage used in laptops today because it is very fast. It performs functions quicker, and also another advantage is that it makes no noise while the laptop is running because it does not have any such parts. It also uses less power, and therefore, you can have significantly better battery life. It also prevents data failure as it is a shock-resistant type of storage.
How Much Storage Is Needed For Your Laptop?
One very important thing to take note of is that often the actual available storage which can be used by you is lesser than the storage that was advertised. This is primarily because of two reasons. The first is that the operating system of the laptop often occupies a good amount of space that is available in totality. For instance, Windows 10 is believed to take up approximately 15 GB of storage. Another reason for this is that many manufacturers of laptops tend to deal with specifications of base-10 numbers rather than base-2 numbers which are used in computers. This implies that the capacity of the hard drive is lower than it is rated to be.
The amount of storage you need in your laptop depends on your usage of the laptop. Several premium quality laptops have a minimum of 256 GB of storage on purchase such as Macbook, Dell XPS series and more. This much storage is good for regular use of the laptop for general purposes such as surfing the internet or watching your favorite series on Netflix. Also, you can get additional 1 TB of storage on purchasing a new laptop but this is not always necessary and needed. When you have a Chrome book or an operating system alternative to Windows, you can use a good amount of cloud storage which is the laptop’s inbuilt space. For simpler purposes, storage of even 128 GB proves to be sufficient.
However, if you plan to store files which are large in size, you will require more storage. For instance, a movie might occupy somewhere around 1.5 to 2 GB of space whereas a web series on the other hand might occupy almost 20 GB or even more of space on your laptop. Using Photoshop or other programs of Adobe requires at least 1 GB of space. Microsoft Word and Excel occupy almost 2 GB storage in the laptop, but their files are likely to be very large. All of these programs can together occupy a good amount of space in your laptop.
Taking into consideration that everything today is digital, you might need more storage. Individuals such as Video makers, music producers, designers, and any other professional might have many large files in their laptop for which a good amount of storage is required. Therefore, in such a situation, it is better to buy a laptop with 512 GB or 1 TB of storage. You can also choose to get an external hard disk drive but that will add to your workload of managing the files in different locations and might even interrupt the flow of your work.
How Can You Get Additional Storage For Your Laptop?
There are many ways to get additional storage for your laptop without changing it or buying a new one. Some of these include:
- Using cloud-based storage – Using cloud-based storage such as iCloud, Google Drive or OneDrive gives you more storage than is available in your laptop and also helps you save money on any external devices. It is a good choice because it enables you to access your data over various devices and can also backup the data on a laptop in a hassle-free manner.
- Freeing-up storage space – Another simple way of acquiring more storage capacity is by freeing up the space in your laptop. This can be done by deleting any unwanted files and uninstalling any programs which you do not use. After deleting, make sure that it is permanently erased from your system by emptying the recycling bin.
- Buying an external storage hard drive – If you cannot free up any space by deleting the existing files, you can also choose to buy an external storage hard drive which can easily be connected to your laptop using a USB cable. This gives you additional storage equivalent to 1 TB to anywhere around 12 TB.
There are several types of storage options available and you can choose out of all these as per your needs, usage and convenience. Whether it is photos or videos that you have to store, or documents and other large multimedia files, you can store it in different types of storage and can even opt for additional storage. If you are just a regular user, the best option will be for you to choose a laptop with sufficient SSD storage of 256 GB. Such a laptop with lower storage will not just fulfill your purpose but also will be a pocket-friendly option. However, if you have large files to store and use the laptop for specific purposes and need more space, you can always go in for laptops with a higher storage capacity.